Paul on Work/Life/Balance

Have I got a good one for you today! This guy is great, and has good things to say about Australia versus New York  and work versus create for work/life/balance. Read on dear readers, read on!

Who are you even?
Hi. My name’s Paul. I’m an Australian who has been living in New York for the past five years. My professional role is Associate Director of Development at a branding and marketing agency.

Work/Life/Passion Balance, what’s your method?
My ideal balance between work and life is: all life, all of the time. I’m not one of those people who “needs to work”. Creative pursuits such as writing, drawing, recording music and making films, plus all the standard stuff of a good life: food, wine, learning languages, watching movies, reading books, socializing, exercise, traveling the world is more than enough to keep me from getting bored for the next 60 years or so.

Though, since my savings are likely to expire long before I do, my dream life is not an option, so I try to balance the work that is important for my bank balance with the work that is important for my soul – primarily writing and filmmaking.

I do well with imposed deadlines, so I’ve been part of weekly writing groups in the past, and I have recently signed up for a weekly screenwriting class. I also somehow managed to put my life on hold for several months to complete a short film, which looking back was an incredible feat of uncharacteristic single-mindedness. Quality aside, the 11 minute film is one of my most proudest achievements.

Though the fact remains, the happiest and most creatively productive periods of my life have been the times since college when I wasn’t working full time.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I feel this question demonstrates a slight cultural difference – growing up in Australia I never really thought about it, nor was I ever asked. I feel in Australia there is a less of a cultural focus on career and work than the US. It’s a double-edged sword, however – there’s a level of work ethic (obsession?) and ambition on this side of the Pacific that I have rarely seen back home. But the flip side is a more relaxed, happiness- and family-focused lifestyle. (It’s likely though, that Australians would probably never have walked on the moon.)

However it occurred to me at around 15 years old I wanted to make films, and it has always felt more important than all the other creative endeavors. At the time though I never really considered this a career choice. It’s hard to say why exactly, perhaps my parents’ encouragement to pursue something more vocation-focused or just lack of exposure to the work – the film industry is minuscule in Australia.

Now that you’re practically an adult, what would you like to be when you grow up?
My interest in filmmaking has stood the test of time – it is the perfect mix of creativity and technology.

The technical challenge of understanding complex systems; the cameras, lenses, apertures, codecs, bit rates, microphone sensitivity patterns, lights, color temperatures, etc. etc., all intimately mixed with the creative – mining my own experiences for fundamental truths of the human condition, and creating a complex world to demonstrate them, contributing to the rich fabric of contemporary culture.

Where can we learn more about you?
My recent film, while it may not quite live up to the rhetoric of the previous paragraph, is available online here: https://vimeo.com/122907206

Anything else?

I loved the video, hope you do, too. My favorite quote? “Everything worth fighting for unbalances your life”
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